Monday, August 22, 2011


Tomorrow is Braeden and Olivia's FIRST day back to SCHOOL!

And while most parents are excited and nervous for their kids to start back, to not see them around as much and miss their smiles and laughs, or maybe glad in a way to get back to that school time routine and schedule, I'm nervous... and excited... optimistic... but worried... for other reasons.

If you followed me at all last year, you'll know we had a LOT of issues with Braeden. Trying to find the right "fit" for something to help him with his excessive, EXCESSIVE, movement and activity level in order to be successful in a classroom setting and be able to learn. It was a disaster. of. ultimate. proportions. (to say the least)

But, he's had a GREAT summer. He has a NEW and WONDERFUL doctor. He's BEGINNING to process and pinpoint his emotions instead of just turning all intense emotion (such as embarrassment) to anger. And I'm optimistic he can carry that into a classroom setting.

But I'm also REALISTIC. And I'm worried. He learned a lot of bad behaviors the last couple months of school through all of this. When he was in day treatment he learned there that he could tell them he wasn't doing something and he then didn't have to. (Um, I thought, especially in a setting such as this, that that wasn't an option. If a teacher tells you... this is your work... you don't have the OPTION to just get up and go color.) But alas, I was mistaken, silly me, and he was allowed to do as he pleased in these areas.

So... because I'm a teacher... and because I know Braeden... I'm HOPING against HOPE that if I set him up for success the first couple months of school, that he will then be in a position of staying the course... I have gotten good ideas from other professionals as far as the school setting... he could sit on an exercise ball - check - it's there and ready for him... he could wear compression shirts under his regular clothes - check - we have two now... he could have velcro placed on the underside of his desk to rub as a sensory response while he is sitting - ?check? - I think - I DID pass this on to the teacher at least... and at home... well at home I've put into place the mondo-exclusive, crazy, ultimate incentive plan...

Behold our mud room...

Braeden's class is card system based and each day he ends on one of five colored cards. Obviously blue is the best going down to red. We talked about what would help motivate him and he immediately said money. I agree, unfortunately, right now money is a big motivator for him. Since I started them on allowances, I don't buy them "extras" ... that comes out of their allowance. And his money always seems to burn a hole in his pocket!

Every day he has the option to earn one of those incentives or consequences. Of course he LOVES blue, DESPISES red, and is ok with green and yellow.

Every day he can earn a sticker on our daily chart... every day of the school year is written here, no others... I thought that would help him see that the year really isn't that long and then it's time for summer again... Every time he earns five stickers he gets to choose a "card"... I have some cards that say things like "Choose your favorite drive through meal for dinner" or "Stay up extra late one night." etc. Best thing is they really benefit everyone. So even though Braeden has to earn the drive through meal and gets to choose it, all three get it...

He can also earn a puzzle piece each day... I bought a 24 piece puzzle at Dol.lar Tree... It's David fighting Goliath and we talked about how school can seem like Goliath sometimes but that he is strong and brave like David and can make it!... We will glue each piece on as he earns it and after it's complete (24 days of SCHOOL that he got blue, green, or yellow), he will get a small prize I have for him (right now he's been watching old tv shows of Beyblade and LOVES pegasus and keeps asking for a pegasus Beyblade... can you guess what the first toy I have is?) :)...

Obviously if he gets to orange or red there are consequences... paying me money and losing tv time which is big for him too. As time goes on, I am VERY hopeful that these things will WORK, that he will be MOTIVATED for success, and that I will be able to WEAN him OFF these incentives... HOPEFUL...

...and tomorrow it all begins...


Great Idea's Lisa! So Creative. Praying that he has a great year! And so do you!

Kathy C. said...

Hope it goes well this year!

Joyce said...

Another idea for sensory - for what I do - which doesnt mean it will work for you - is Ryan gets a 15 minute swing before school plus I try to give him a bit of a body work out as well - like monkey bars, crab crawls, stuff like that

Jennifer said...

What creative ideas! You are such a great mom and the perfect mom for Braeden - I would never think of these things :) I'm praying for a succcessful year for both of you.

I love your rewards system. Very well done! I hope you get great results. Colin is only three now, and he is working one-on-one with a therapist at an ABA school, but I am so nervous for him when he starts kindergarten and there are 25 kids and one teacher! I know we have time to work on things now, but I still worry about it. One day at a time, though, right? :)

annieglan said...

Any news on the adoption front?

Jeanie said...

Sounds like a great plan. I hope everything works out fine for all of you.

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About Me

I am a single mom to four amazing kids; each of whom just happen to have been adopted. The first three were adopted through foster care, and we just completed an international adoption from Haiti. Our family has grown through adoption and I am all the more blessed to know each of my children. I worship a mighty God, teach Special Ed, love bargains, and am inspired by Pinterest... come along with us for the ride!

Olivia - 14

Olivia - 14

Braeden - 11

Braeden - 11

Liam - 9

Liam - 9

Macy - 5

Macy - 5

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